1 Sacrificial Lamb

"Daddy, I don't want to go! I love General Cedric. I don't want to become King Alistair's mistress!" Princess Felicity whined to her father while tugging on his sleeve.

Sierra kept her eyes to the ground while she gritted her teeth. Her hands were clenched into fists upon hearing the princess's confession of loving General Cedric. He had led her on and she blindly believed him.

"I'll never make the same mistake again," Sierra muttered beneath her breath to herself.

"Alright, alright, my child, we'll think of something else," King Frederick consoled his daughter.

The King was a pushover when it came to his daughter. Princess Felicity was his only child and he had spoiled her rotten. She got her way, no matter the cost. Sierra could not help but sigh.

The alliance between their Kingdom of Caif and the Kingdom of Drakin rests on the princess's shoulders. Yet, she refused to go. The ministers and generals in the Throne Room erupted into conversation.

King Frederick cleared his throat audibly to get the attention of his subjects. The Royal Court settled down immediately. It was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop.

"We need another candidate for the marriage alliance. My beloved subjects, would any of you like the honor of marrying your daughter to the King of Drakin?" the King asked.

Everyone glanced at one another. No one dared to step forward or speak. If the rumors are to be believed, King Alistair of Drakin was a cold and heartless ruler. Not to mention, he was known to visit the whore houses regularly on a near-daily basis.

No father in the right mind would want their daughter to marry a womanizer. Let alone one who was rumored to be particularly cruel when it came to punishing criminals. But it had to be done.

Six days ago, every neighboring kingdom to Drakin received a letter. Each monarch was to send their princess to become a potential concubine to the King. Should they choose to decline, war awaits.

King Frederick was a cowardly king.

He would never dare to go against a large kingdom like Drakin. Furthermore, three kingdoms had refused to abide by King Alistair's instructions and each of them paid the price. Their ruling monarchs lost their heads while their lands now belonged to the ever-growing empire of Drakin.

"Your Majesty, I have a suggestion," General Cedric stepped forward to speak.

"Oh? Is that so? Share it with the court, general."

Sierra glanced up. At that moment, she knew she made her mistake. The moment their eyes met, her heart sank. He was looking straight at her with a grin. She glanced over to the princess. She too had the same grin on her face.

"I think Knightess Sierra would be the perfect candidate. I'm sure she will be more than willing to volunteer, for the sake of our glorious kingdom," Cedric suggested.

She used to love that handsome face. His chestnut brown hair, chiseled chin, and charismatic personality. Now, all she had for him was hatred beyond measure.

Everyone turned their attention to Sierra.

She could see all of them, staring at her. Some of the ministers whispered amongst themselves, discussing how viable of a solution it would be to their situation. Sierra gulped. Her palms began to sweat.

"Knightess Sierra?" her name rolled off the King's tongue with unfamiliarity.

General Leon, Sierra's father, took a step forward and got down on his knee.

"My daughter, your Majesty," he explained to the King.

Sierra felt a warm sensation in her heart. General Leon took her in as his own when she was six. He taught her everything she knew, including how to stand up for herself. He treated Sierra like his own flesh and blood.

"I didn't know the Bancroft Family had an heiress," the King exclaimed in surprise.

He clearly was a useless king, unaware of the affairs of his subjects.

"She's not his blood daughter, father. She's just some orphan girl he took in," the princess informed her father before the court.

Sierra gritted her teeth but kept her silence. Her fists were trembling. She took in a deep breath of air, hoping it would help.

"An orphan? We can't offer someone like that to King Alistair! He would be enraged if he finds out," King Frederick exclaimed.

Sierra's lips quivered. The tides have turned. Perhaps she would be able to escape this marriage alliance after all. But as quick as her hopes were restored, they were taken away in the blink of an eye.

General Cedric stepped forward with a suggestion, "Your Majesty, I have a solution. We can claim Sierra to be a princess in title. I am certain King Alistair won't suspect a thing!"

"Do you take him for a fool? He's a King for crying out loud!"

As soon as those words left her lips, Sierra realized she had made a horrible mistake. She had voiced her opinions outwardly in front of everyone. She was doomed. Her adoptive father glanced over to her, signaling her to get on her knees immediately.

Sierra did so immediately, keeping her eyes to the ground.

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